Formulating programs of large scale development projects in Saudi Arabia

Dr. Mohammad Baydoun



The aim of this paper is to develop a model for formulation of programs for large scale development projects in Saudi Arabia. This will help developers of these projects to better understand the requirements for formulation of project programs along with the steps to be followed.  Due to current focus on large scale development projects in Saudi Arabia; this issue is of particular importance in this context. Three case studies, in each of which a different process for formulation of project program was followed, were selected. Through analyses of these case studies, a model for formulation process of project programs was developed.

Key words: large scale projects, project program, project management, Saudi Arabia.


During the last two decades, the development sector was booming worldwide, especially within developing countries that are rich in natural resources. This boom increased pressure on governments to develop large scale urban projects that can contain the newly emerging developments (Sagalyn 2007). The purpose of these projects is to divide large land areas into smaller parcels that meet demand requirements while providing necessary infrastructure for these parcels. In order to secure success of urban development projects, it is essential to develop project programs that are in line with market requirements and regulatory framework while providing a competitive edge that could help the project to prevail over current and projected competition (Kyvelou and Karaiskou 2006).

The definition of a “large scale project” differs from one reference to another. Some references consider the cost to be the indicator of the project’s scale (Verveniotis 2008). Other references define large scale projects as the projects that have a social, economic and ecological impact on its context (Alastair et al. 2005). For the purpose of this paper, the later definition will be adopted as the relevance of the development cost varies upon the economic status of the country and the time, during which the project was executed as time is related to inflation.

Saudi Arabia is known to have one of the strongest economies in Gulf Council Countries (GCC) due to its richness in natural resources in general and oil in particular. For the purpose of using its revenues to boost local economy, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in large scale development projects. Therefore, investigating processes to be followed for formulation of programs for large scale projects within this context is highly relevant. Three case studies were selected within this context in order to analyze the processes that were followed for development of its programs and answer the following research question: ‘how to formulate programs of large scale development projects in Saudi Arabia?’. This question is significant as it will help developers of large scale projects to better formulate programs of their projects and make it in line with the market dynamics, regulations and technical requirements.


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About the Author

Dr. Mohammad Baydoun


Dr. Mohammad Baydoun has a Bachelors Degree in Architecture, a Masters Degree of Architecture in Urban Design, an Executive Masters of Business Administration Degree, and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Grenoble Ecole De Management. Mohammad is a project manager in Millennium Development International s.a.l. in Beirut, Lebanon. As a project manager, Dr. Baydoun is responsible for managing and working jointly with a team of urban planners, urban designers, financial analysts, architects and engineers. His multidisciplinary background combined with his experience allows him to participate in structuring complex development projects, authoring of development strategies and, through management and collaboration with consultants of diverse disciplines (technical and financial), to realize integrated business plans and commercial success of projects. His expertise spans a wide geographical spread with special focus on the Saudi market. Dr. Baydoun is also a thesis supervisor for the Doctorate of Business Administration Program of Grenoble Ecole De Management and a visiting research fellow at the Management Science Laboratory of Athens University of Economics and Business. Dr. Baydoun won a number of professional and academic awards, the most prominent of which are Saraya’s Spirit to Serve Award that is awarded to distinguished employees for their dedication and outstanding performance, and Ghanem Al Shama’ Price for the best graduation project. Dr. Baydoun has authored a number of publications on management of large scale development projects. Dr. Mohammad Baydoun can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]